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Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

by Melissa Dierks

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

 “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

 Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

 

Source: https://www.mykcm.com/2018/04/16/getting-pre-approved-should-always-be-your-first-step/

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

10 of the hottest interior trends for Spring Summer 2018

by Melissa Dierks
Spring/Summer 2018 trends

Yes, it's still dark and dingy, but we have so much colour and texture to look forward to this spring and summer. 

Ice-cream pastels, glittery golds, indigo blues and super zingy colour pops, these are all trends for this year. Below, we show you our favourites and how to put them together in your home. 

1. EMBELLISHMENTS

Global Traveller range, Sainsbury's Home
SAINSBURY'S HOME

Macrame, fringing, tufting, tassels and feathers – you name it, it's here for this season and you'll see it on cushions, wall hangings, throws, rugs and accessories. This trend will add a wonderful handmade quality to each room, beautiful tactile cushions on the sofa and a sumptuous throw with tassels on the bed, and a wall-hanging or two on plain walls to add interest. 

2. ICE CREAM COLOURS

Valspar, from B&Q
VALSPAR

Gelato colours are going to be a huge trend in both interiors and fashion this year, but there's no reason to wait until spring, start investing in key pieces now and get ahead of the crowd. 'Choosing your favourite flavour of ice cream can be a bit like choosing your favourite paint colour,' explains Kasia Wiktorowicz, marketing communications manager, Valspar. 'So why only choose one when you can have them all, in a perfect palette of ice cream colours. You can even mix up paint colours to suit your tastes and match accessories by using our in-store colour matching technology.' Introduce these pretty colours on a single wall or multiple if you feel brave, and accessorise with pastelhued vases, dining chairs and tableware.

3. GEOMETRICS

Wall&Deco Wet System 16 - Batik, £156 per sq m, West One Bathrooms
WEST ONE BATHROOMS

Although we did see geometrics in 2017, it was mainly on cushions and rugs. This year it's all about tiles, wallpaper and art. Seen here is a bold design being used to striking effect, no, it's not tiles, it's actually a specially designed decorative membrane that is so watertight it can also be used directly on the walls of a shower or as a kitchen splashback.

4. FOLIAGE AND MORE FOLIAGE

Green sofa and greenery - plants

With increasing news of health benefits, the humble houseplant is fast becoming the must-have buy for our homes. And it seems the more the merrier, so pop down to your local garden centre and invest in some stunning plants. Place them in each room, use hanging plants for shelves and mantelpieces and some lovely leafy beauties for bare corners and coffee/side tables. Team them with some lush green pieces like this charming armchair, stylish pendants, a textured rug and some stripy green cushions for added interest. 

5. INDIGO BLUES

Indigo blue flowers, vase and backdrop
MARKS & SPENCER

As an antidote to the pastel tones, another colour trend is inky blues. If painting a whole room in one of these shades seems overwhelming then simply accessorise instead with vases and flowers. Pick different shapes in a mixture of styles, so some coloured glass and others embossed stoneware, like these seen here. Vary the heights and widths to create an interesting display. 

6. OMBRE

Holly double bed frame in pumice soft textured weave, £975, Button & Sprung
BUTTON & SPRUNG

Meaning 'to shade', this season you're going to see ombre in many different ways, from fabrics to cushions, rugs to bedding, and in a painterly watercolour style on lampshades, artwork and furniture. If you don't feel brave enough to try it yourself on walls, then source a wallpaper instead. Once you have chosen your colourway, co-ordinate your accessories to complement the wall colours using a mix of plains and prints. 

              7. GLITTERY GOLD

Swoon Editions
SWOON EDITIONS

Last year the metallic trend started to filter through into paints and metal finishes, this year gold is the key colour. Softer than silver, it brings its own elegance together with a sense of decadence. You'll see gold detailing like door knobs and handles, gold lamp bases and picture frames. We love this sideboard, mirror and pendant, the dramatic dark walls show them off to perfection and the bold electric blue chair adds a classy pop of colour. Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon Editions, says: 'Mango wood furnishings with brass and gold leaf accents are an increasingly popular choice for the style-savvy customer. For a more subtle take, gold accessories are a sophisticated yet understated addition.'

8. COLOUR POPS

Colourful bedroom, Amara
AMARA

'Bold pops of colour is one of the strongest trends coming through for us this season. For A by Amara's SS18 collection we've focused heavily on a variety of strong shades that we feel will transform any living space and help reflect a personal style,' explains Sam Hood, founder and creative director of Amara. This trend is all about mixing bright colours together. It's strong, but easily manageable if you have one or two main colours to start with that 'ground' the rest of the look. For example, as shown here, it's the blue bedding and the neutral walls. The cushions, rug and curtains bring a zingy element to the scheme as well as the yellow light and the orange panel. Use textures to layer the look and don't be afraid to team patterns and stripes together. 

9. TROPICAL

House of Fraser - outdoor living, tropics
HOUSE OF FRASER

Punchy brights teamed with gold are the key to this happy trend. It will work both inside and out. To recreate this look layer different coloured linen tablecloths and use darker shades for the tableware. Choose tropical leaf print cushions to add a decorative touch. Jakki Pay, design director of fashion & home at House of Fraser, says: 'I love tropical prints – there's really no better way to create that summer party mood, and this season there are some brilliantly bold ones to choose from. Palm motifs are always popular and our in-house design team has scaled them up to create some really striking abstract prints. Pick out vibrant pinks and blues and you've created a tropical paradise in your back garden.

10. SHIMMERY FLOORS

Carpetright Westex Ultima Twist carpet in Scotch Mist, £41.99m2 (2)
CARPETRIGHT

A new concept for carpets – shimmer! Perfect for spring and summer, this new range has an iridescent finish that catches the light and can be teamed with shimmery wallpapers and decorative paint effects. This pretty blush rose colour is perfect for this new season and looks great with grey and pale blue. 'The trend for iridescence continues this spring and it's proving to be an adaptable decorating style. The combination of blush, grey and lilac tones with metallic and shimmering finishes offers a modern feel with the perfect balance between sophistication and vibrancy,' explains Jemma Dayman, buyer at Carpetright.

Source: housebeautiful.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

Just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, the prospect of rising mortgage rates had buyers even more frenzied in March, according to a report out Friday. 

The monthly survey of real estate agents from Credit Suisse showed that an index of buyer traffic around the country rose 2 points to 50, on a scale where 50 indicates a neutral reading. As always, there was great regional variety, but as Credit Suisse put it, agents’ commentary “remains centered on pent-up demand, especially in more affordable price points, given the persistent inventory shortage.”

The threat of rising mortgage rates is also starting to be felt. That “got many buyers off the fence,” as one survey respondent in Houston said. In 36 metro areas Credit Suisse surveys, 23 said incoming rate increases were motivating buyers. Still, as one Seattle real estate agent put it, “Rate increases are causing a sense of urgency, but there is not enough inventory to sell.”

And Credit Suisse also made note of a theme that’s starting to gain as much traction as the notion of scarce inventory: “In several markets spanning the Southern U.S., agents noted in-migration – driven by employment and lifestyle changes – is supporting ongoing gains in traffic as we move into spring.” That’s a theme MarketWatch has covered recently. 

ReadAmerica’s new great migration in search of lower property taxes

And for buyers who can’t move across the country for more reasonable prices, Credit Suisse’s survey found more house-hunters going back to a tried-and-true way of landing more affordable housing. What they call “a greater willingness among buyers to move further out to the periphery” was known as “driving until you qualify” a decade ago. 

Here are some selected local highlights from the March survey, along with Credit Suisse’s proprietary traffic index data for each.

City Traffic index Comments
Boston 36

“Continued shortage of available inventory is leading some buyers to abandon their search.” 

“Rising prices and the uptick in interest rates are pushing the bottom tier out of the marketplace.” “Buyers looking at homes in further out areas in order to compete with rising rates.” 

Chicago 38 “First-time and move-up buyers are coming on strong while the luxury buyers are languishing.” 

“Buyer optimism amidst low levels of inventory.” 

Denver 46

“Prices being bid up well beyond the list price.”

Fort Myers 50

“Clients appear to feel more confident in the economy.” 

“Colder weather in the Northeast states driving more snowbirds to the area.”

Houston 54

“Continued corporate relocations to the area.”

Inland Empire, California 25

“Rates causing buyers to purchase smaller or older homes, or move further out.” 

“Buyers will purchase what they can afford given rising rates; homes will be smaller and locations outside of previously considered areas.”

Jacksonville 75

“Good economy and still affordable price points.” 

“Corporate growth in the area.”

Las Vegas 38

“Open house traffic much higher than last year and more interest in entry level homes.” 

“People moving to the county in droves!” 

“Higher prices and shortage of available inventory.”

Miami 30

“Lenders tight on buyer qualifications and property conditions.”  

“First-time buyers concerned over rising rates although higher end buyers more motivated to purchase.”

Minneapolis 63

“Clients that have been dragging their feet now cannot afford as much.”

Nashville 21

“More people moving into the area.” 

“Seeing an increase in seller paid closing costs and additional financial assistance on behalf of buyers.”

New York-Northern New Jersey 47

“Many buyers interested in purchasing homes outside the state, in places like North Carolina.”

Phoenix 71

“Buyers willing to go further out to get a larger home.”

Raleigh 67

Lack of inventory and frenzied buying.” 

“Some buyers moving towards variable rate mortgage products offered by credit unions.”

Sacramento 77

“More people and companies moving to the area.” 

“Buyers are lowering their expectations, sacrificing either square footage or location to meet price points.”

San Antonio 60

“Retirees looking to move to the area due to the climate and the fairly low cost of living.” 

“Buyers qualifying for lower amounts.”

San Diego 46

“Buyers more concerned with HOA fees than rates.” 

“Seeing movement to lower priced areas if anything is available.” 

“Buyers willing to move further from the city.”

Virginia Beach 50

“Large influx of low quality new construction which is outperforming the sales of existing homes.” 

“Buyers having sticker shock over rising home prices.”

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Source:  Keeping Current Matters and all references above

What to Do With All That Stuff

by Melissa Dierks

piles of household stuff
 

It seems everywhere you turn, there’s a new message on the many benefits of decluttering. One of the trend’s best-known spokespersons is Marie Kondo, whose first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,extolls the virtues of having fewer belongings and more space to showcase the things that spark joy.

A more sobering aspect of this movement has been revealed more recently in the form of “Swedish Death Cleaning,” which involves getting rid of anything you don’t need any more so as to relieve others of the task of discarding it after you’ve passed on. Margareta Magnusson, author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives More Pleasant, says the practice offers a soft underlying message of care for one’s heirs.

Truly effective—and lasting—decluttering is a multistep process. The elements will vary depending on each client’s situation, but here are tips on how you as a real estate pro can help them reduce the stress of the task. You may even find them helpful for your own space.

1. Consider the downsizers. Whether you’re helping them buy or sell, clients who are hoping to reduce the amount of living space they require may look to you as a cheerleader and adviser. They may find it tempting to put off those difficult decisions about what to keep and what to ditch until after the move, but if you can help them focus on what realistically can fit in their new home, that could save them significant money in moving costs, according to Barry Izsak, an organizer and moving expert based in Austin, Texas. This is an especially important factor for those moving long distances. Such clients may also need to be reminded to think about the climate they’re relocating to. Snowbirds are not likely to need an extensive winter wardrobe and should retain only a few items for visits back North or travel to cold-weather locations.


2. Know when to suggest professional help. Homeowners who can’t handle the task on their own should consider bringing on a certified member of the National Association of Professional Organizers or someone with many years of experience, says Izsak. As the former president of NAPO, he says the national hourly rate typically charged by members hovers between $50 and $100. Rhea Becker—who, as the Clutter Queen, offers organizing services for homes and offices in Boston—says many of her clients appreciate how professionals speed up the process by keeping them focused on maximizing profits and avoiding digressions over each object’s history. “With a professional, you have the best chance to cut the time and get some money on the table since they know what will sell,” she says.

3. Assemble a toolbox of local resources to share. Whether or not your clients decide to bring in a professional, it helps to categorize each item in a given area into one of five groupings: keep, store, sell, donate, or toss. Izsak says the litmus test he uses and shares with clients is to save an object only if it fits one of these three criteria: It’s useful, beautiful, or loved. Becker suggests homeowners snap photos of favorite items that are difficult to part with to give them a visual memory they can retain rather than keeping the item itself. Here’s specific help you can offer them for each pile:

  • Sell. Midcentury modern furniture and contemporary art both appeal widely to buyers of all ages, especially if they’re good quality and in decent condition. Create a list of estate sales specialists and consignment shops in your area that are known for fair dealing. However, be aware that many services that do the work of selling take a big cut, often half the sales price. If your clients are inclined to try to sell items themselves, suggest they try eBay for the best prices. However, if they’re not willing to go through the trouble of shipping sold items, encourage them to post goods on hyperlocal online sites, such as neighborhood Facebook groups or Craigslist.
  • Donate. Remember the adage, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Suggest to older clients that they first ask their children to claim beloved items from their childhood. Becker says it’s important to set a time limit for those who are interested to pick up what they want. Donations is another area where you can be a hero by compiling a list of trustworthy sources in your neighborhood for your clients. Take note of what charities will accept and when, and even which ones will pick up donations, saving your clients time and hassle. Some charities have gotten choosier about what they accept. For instance, many won’t take mattresses, box springs, pillow cases, or sheets. Real estate salesperson Christopher Flores with Keller Williams Larchmont in Los Angeles suggests a local halfway house that helps troubled young adults stabilize their lives as a great destination for used goods. “That way they provide furniture and clothing they don’t need to those who may have nothing,” he says. Remind sellers that they may be able to secure a tax donation from the IRS if they contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization. Because of recent changes in the tax code, it’s best for clients to keep detailed notes of what they donate and to consult their tax adviser for the exact percentages they will be able to write off.
  • Toss. While clients may be able to deposit a fair amount of stuff in their garbage cans for pick-up or take unwanted items directly to their local dump, they may save themselves some work by calling a local trash-hauling company or 1-800-GOT-JUNK, which operates nationwide. You can be a resource for clients by noting how much junk haulers charge and if there’s any products they won’t take. Homeowners can also consult HomeAdvisor’s list of trash-hauling service providers by ZIP code. Also, it’s important to be aware of laws governing trash. Some municipalities also allow homeowners to leave stuff by the curb with a sign “please take me,” while others levy fines for such activity. A more organized version of this idea comes in the form of local Freecycle chapters, part of a grassroots nonprofit where local people post stuff for free pickup in their own towns to help keep usable goods out of landfills.
  • Store off-site. It may be tempting to store certain household items off-site. Because the self-storage industry is growing, most neighborhoods or towns offer multiple choices. In fact, 84 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one self-storage facility, according to the Self-Storage Association. Suggest clients pick one that offers locked, insured, climate-controlled cubicles, which they can access whenever they want. Prices can vary widely. A storage facility in Staatsburg, N.Y. offers a 5-foot-square cubicle for $45 with a discount for college students. Michael McAlhany’s Units Moving and Portable Storage, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., charges an average of $140 a month for an 8-foot-by-16-foot unit in 14 states across the country. His company will bring a portable storage unit to a home or apartment, so owners can pack there rather than transport everything to the facility. However, remind clients that this isn’t a great long-term solution, as months can easily extend into years and even decades. “Often storage is a matter of postponing the inevitable. It’s better to get rid of whatever you don’t need,” Izsak says.

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above


5 Home Improvement Personality Types

by Melissa Dierks

A homeowner’s personality can have a big influence on their behavior when it comes to home improvement projects, according to a new survey by the Home Projects Council, a group of home improvement experts that aims to help homeowners improve their property values. 

The Home Projects Council identified the following five home improvement personality types: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, and the Extrovert. 

To identify the personality types, the council gave more than 1,100 homeowners a personality test along with a survey about their recent or planned home improvement projects. 

“It is very common to segment home improvement attitudes and behavior by demographic factors, but by using a well-established model of personality, the Big Five, we were able to confirm a direct relationship between home improvement and personality types,” says Fred Miller of Consumer Specialists, who conducted the research.

Source: Home Projects Council

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

Home Buyers Are Blowing Their Budgets

by Melissa Dierks

A recent survey found that buyers are spending more on their home purchase than they intended. A third of homeowners recently surveyed say that they blew through the upper limit of their home purchase budget by an average of $16,510, according to a new survey released by Owners.com of 1,214 Americans who purchased a home in the last four years. 

A big part of the problem is the increasing costs of buying, particularly for starter homes. “Clearly, we’re in an environment of rising prices,” Daniel Maloney, national head of sales for real estate brokerage Owners.com, told USA Today.

Millennials are the most likely to overspend on their home purchase. Maloney says that is because they tend to be first-time home buyers and the least knowledgeable about setting a realistic price target that they can meet. Here's how much the different age groups tended to overspend on their home purchases:

  • 40% of millennials went over budget by an average of $24,545;
  • 34% of Generation X members went over budget by an average of $13,996;
  • 19% of baby boomers went over budget by an average of $8,024

The Owners.com survey also found that Generation X members tend to be the most self-directed when purchasing a home, while millennials tend to be the most reliant on their real estate agents for direction. Nearly one in five of millennials—or 19 percent of those surveyed—admitted they can be indecisive at times and rely on their agent to tell them what they should be considering and touring. 

Source: Owners.com and “Hot Housing Market: Home Buyers Are Spending More Than Expected,” USA Today (April 3, 2018)

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above


4 Tax Deductions for Sellers

by Melissa Dierks

 

Some tax deductions for home sellers may amount to potentially big savings. As such, homeowners who are selling their home soon or sold it last year will want to educate themselves on the tax deductions available. Realtor.com® recently highlighted some, including:

Selling costs: “You can deduct any costs associated with selling the home—including legal fees, escrow fees, advertising costs, and real estate agent commissions,” says Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax and Consulting in Rockville Center, NY.

Home improvements and repairs: Some renovations done to make a home more marketable for resale may be eligible for a tax break. “If you needed to make home improvements in order to sell your home, you can deduct those expenses as selling costs as long as they were made within 90 days of the closing,” says Zimmelman.

Property taxes: You can deduct the amount you paid in property taxes for the time you owned the home. This has been capped at $10,000 in total deductions, starting in 2018, however.

Mortgage interest: You can deduct the interest on your mortgage for the amount of time you owned the home. Starting in 2018, new homeowners and sellers can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt. Homeowners who had a mortgage prior to Dec. 15, 2017, can continue to deduct up to $1 million under the old law, Zimmelman says.

And don’t forget a tax exclusion still available to home sellers on capital gains. Capital gains are your profits from selling a home. Those profits are taxed as income, but you can exclude up to $250,000 of the capital gains from the sale if you’re single and up to $500,000 if filing as a married couple. To be eligible, you must have lived in your home at least two of the past five years.

Source: “5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling a Home: Did You Take Them All?” realtor.com® (March 8, 2018)

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above


Why Staging With Plants Draws More Buyers

by Melissa Dierks

Wellness-minded millennials are filling their homes with clean-air houseplants, and real estate developers are realizing that a love for greenery can be used as an amenity to attract buyers. 

Millennials are looking for spaces to add indoor gardens. Real estate developers are jumping on the trend. The ARC in Long Island City, a 428-unit luxury rental building, allows its residents to use a 1,100-square-foot glass greenhouse where they can plant and grow their own vegetables and herbs.

“It’s been a tremendous selling point to prospective tenants,” Scott Avram, senior vice president of development at Lightstone, told The New York Times.

The Margo in Brooklyn features a living wall in the lobby and a rooftop garden with plots that tenants can use as their own gardens.

“Wellness is a priority for our millennial-aged residents,” says Dave Maundrell, executive vice president of new developments for Brooklyn and Queens at Citi Habitats. “They’re willing to pay more for access to a green space.”

Millennials are adding more houseplants inside their homes, too. 

“Millennials were responsible for 31 percent of houseplant sales in 2016,” according to Ian Baldwin, a business adviser for the gardening industry. Of the 6 million Americans who started to garden in 2016, 5 million were ages 18 to 34, according to the 2016 National Gardening survey.

“Houseplants are a low-cost way to have a green space at home,” Baldwin says.

And it’s not just adding one or two houseplants, but they’re adding in hundreds to their home, featuring indoor gardens and divider walls of greenery. 

Summer Rayne Oakes has filled her 1,200-square-foot apartment with nearly 700 houseplants. She has a subirrigated living wall in her bedroom, a vertical garden made out of Mason jars in the living room wall, and a closet transformed into a kitchen grow garden with edible plants, like herbs.

Rebecca Bullene, the founder of Greenery NYC, a botanic design company, has filled her 1,800-square-foot apartment with more than a hundred plants, including a six-foot-by-six-foot steel shelving unit filled with a dozen wooden planter boxes and more than 50 plants alone that separates her living room and her office. She also uses large plants, like an 11-foot-tall ficus audrey tree to help break up an open floor plan.

She’s drawn to the health boost from the plants, not just the look. “Plants boost serotonin levels and dissolve volatile airborne chemicals,” Bullene says. “They actually make healthier spaces for humans to inhabit.”

She also uses a combination of plants in her bedroom that are known to release oxygen and clean the air, including aloe vera and sansevieria.

Source: “Plant-Loving Millennials at Home and at Work,” The New York Times (March 9, 2018)

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

A New Housing Bubble Forming…Not Before 2024!

by Melissa Dierks

 

A New Housing Bubble Forming…Not Before 2024! | MyKCM

A recent report by CoreLogic revealed that U.S. home values appreciated by more than 37% over the last five years. Some are concerned that this is evidence we may be on the verge of another housing “boom & bust” like the one we experienced from 2006-2008.

 Recently, several housing experts weighed in on the subject to alleviate these fears.

 Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

  “The evidence indicates there currently is no house price bubble in the U.S., despite the rapid increase of house prices over the last five years.”

 Edward Golding, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center

  “There is not likely to be a national bubble in the way that we saw the first decade of the century.”

 Christopher Thornberg, Partner atBeacon Economics

  “There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

 Bill McBride, Calculated Risk

 “I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”

 David M. BlitzerChairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices

  “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

A recent article by Teo Nicolais, a real estate entrepreneur who teaches courses on real estate principles, markets, and finance at Harvard Extension School concluded that the next housing bubble may not occur until 2024.

The articleHow to Use Real Estate Trends to Predict the Next Housing Bubble, looks at previous peaks in real estate values going all the way back to 1818. Nicolais uses the research of several economists. The article details the four phases of a real estate cycle and what defines each phase.

Nicolais concluded his article by saying:

“Those who study the financial crisis of 2008 will (we hope) always be weary of the next major crash. If George, Harrison, and Foldvary are right, however, that won’t happen until after the next peak around 2024.  

 Between now and then, aside from the occasional slow down and inevitable market hiccups, the real estate industry is likely to enjoy a long period of expansion.”

Bottom Line

The reason for the price appreciation we are seeing is an imbalance between supply and demand for housing. This has created a natural increase in values, not a bubble in prices.

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

Why Buyers May Lose If They Don’t Act Now

by Melissa Dierks

Rising mortgage rates could have a big impact on the direction your buyers choose when shopping for real estate, economists warn. “Every time the interest rates go up, you eliminate a group of people who can no longer afford to buy a house,” Don Frommeyer, a mortgage broker at Marine Bank in Indianapolis, told realtor.com®. “Some people may have to rent for a period of time until they make more money—or buy a smaller house.”

To avoid further complications in their plans, your buyers may want to speed up their home search this spring, as interest rates are forecasted to move higher in the coming months. Forty-four percent of home buyers say rate increases likely will force them to settle for a smaller, less expensive home that requires a longer commute to their jobs, according to a realtor.com® survey. First-time buyers may be most affected by rising costs, as increasing home prices and interest rates price some out of the market.

Mortgage rates are at their highest levels in more than four years. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.46 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac, and that’s largely expected to increase since the Federal Reserve said it is likely to raise its short-term interest rates this year. That could prompt mortgage rates to move higher at least three times this year, starting this month.

“For the bulk of buyers, it’s not going to kill their decision to purchase a home,” Rick Palacios Jr., director of research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, told realtor.com®. “If anything, it will get them off the fence by creating a sense of urgency.” Higher rates are “a kick in the pants for you to start thinking seriously [about buying].”

Rate increases—even minor ones—can add up over time. Realtor.com® offers this example: On a $300,000 house with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and 20 percent down payment, the difference between a 4 percent and 5 percent mortgage rate is $142 a month. Calculated over the life of the loan, that is more than an extra $51,000. “Buyers thought they could wait forever because rates were going to stay low forever,” says Palacios. “They’re starting to realize that if they’re going to buy, they should probably buy now.”

Home buyers who are concerned about rising rates may want to lock in with a lender, which guarantees the current rate for a set period of time. Still, don’t let your clients linger on making a decision. It typically costs several hundred dollars to lock in a rate.

Source: “Is It Last Call for Low Mortgage Rate? Why Home Buyers Should Act Now,” realtor.com® (March 7, 2018)

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

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Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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